The 10 Spookiest Moments In Wednesday Season 1, Ranked

This post contains spoilers for "Wednesday."

"Wednesday," the latest pop culture iteration of America's favorite creepy and kooky family, focuses on the titular Addams daughter. The series follows the trials and tribulations of Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) at the prestigious yet mysterious Nevermore Academy, where she discovers that a monster is on the loose. More than a few people want her dead or behind bars, and Wednesday must solve the mystery of the monster's identity to save her school, all while working to clear her family's good (... relatively speaking) name. 

Though the series has a lot of issues, particularly when it comes to its handling of matters related to race and sexuality, Ortega shines in the iconic role of Wednesday, and there are plenty of creepy moments for viewers who want a little more horror from the Addams Family. This list takes a look at those altogether spooky moments, ranking the scenes of monsters and mayhem in order of spookiness.

10. The first body is found in the woods

When local authorities — Deputy Santiago (Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo) and Sheriff Galpin (Jamie McShane) — find the remains of a hiker in the woods, "Wednesday" turns into a horror series. Viewers see a shot of a bloody backpack as Galpin asks, "Where's the rest of him?" In the goriest scene in the season, the viewer learns the answer to that question as we see arms and a torso scattered on the ground and tossed into trees; Santiago helpfully explains that they found a leg in the lake.

Not only is this grisly scene one of the bloodiest in Season 1, but it's also one of the spookiest. It occurs early in Episode 1, which sets a creepy tone for the rest of the season. Even in more mundane scenes, like dance sequences or squabbles between roommates, the specter of the monster in the woods hangs over the characters' heads. Just before viewers see the hiker's remains, an aerial pan from Nevermore Academy to the site of his demise shows just how close to the school this monster's hunting ground really is. Wednesday and her new schoolmates are in danger, and this scene makes sure viewers never forget that. Believe it or not, though, there are even spookier moments than this. 

9. Wednesday's first vision

At Nancy Reagan High (the school Wednesday is expelled from just before enrolling in Nevermore Academy), she finds that her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) has been tied up and stuffed into her locker by some bullies. Wednesday demands to know their names, but Pugsley swears he doesn't know who attacked him. When Wednesday unties her brother and grabs his hands, she has a vision in which she clearly sees the identity of his bullies, glimpsing a flash of them laughing and manhandling her brother in crystal clear black and white.

Viewers haven't seen this side of Wednesday before; in fact, the psychic power is new to her as well. It's shocking to see the vision strike, as she suddenly throws her head back and stiffens her body as if she's been struck by a bolt of lightning. Wednesday even describes the newfound visions as feeling "like electroshock therapy, but without the satisfying afterburn." Her violent physical reaction throws viewers off their guard right away. The startling physicality and the surprise of her supernatural power combine to create a spooky start to the series.

8. Piranha pool attack

The piranha pool attack is the immediate aftermath of the scene in which Wednesday has her first vision, but it undeniably deserves its own entry on this list. Thirsting for vengeance, Wednesday approaches the boys who bullied Pugsley as Édith Piaf's "Non, je ne regrette rien" poetically scores her actions. The bullies, who are practicing water polo, mock her, but when Wednesday holds up two bags of piranha, they quickly change their tune. She drops the piranha into the pool, and the boys swim away as fast as they can ... but for the head bully, it's not quite fast enough.

The first episode of "Wednesday" is the strongest, and nowhere is that more evident than in this hilarious and delightfully macabre scene. There's a keen sense of satisfaction in seeing the bullies get their panicked comeuppance, but it's also incredibly spooky to see hordes of hungry carnivorous fish racing to devour the boys before they can get out of the pool. This pitch-perfect combination of morbid humor and genuine menace is exactly what we expect from the Addams Family, and — in this scene, at least — "Wednesday" does not disappoint. Still, for this list, the scene remains lower in the rankings as the humor does take the edge off. 

7. The monster attacks Rowan

When Wednesday has a vision of school nerd Rowan (Calum Ross) being attacked in the woods, she chases after him to try to warn him of the danger. The tables turn, however, when Rowan uses telekinesis to pin Wednesday to a tree and tell her he has to kill her because of a vision his mother had when she was a Nevermore student. Rowan claims Wednesday is destined to destroy the school, and it's his job to kill her before that happens. Wednesday is rescued when a hideous monster attacks Rowan, fulfilling Wednesday's vision but adding more questions than she has answers for.

This scene sets up the biggest mysteries of Season 1: What is Wednesday's destiny at Nevermore, and what — or who — is the monster? It's frightening to see Wednesday's visions come to fruition despite her best efforts to stave off disaster, and the creature design on the monster is creepy in and of itself. With its bulging eyes and sharp claws, the monster is the last thing you want to meet in the woods at night. This is the first time Wednesday or the viewers are seeing the monster, and it adds an extra layer of fear on top of the season, which was already getting spookier and spookier as the mysteries begin to stack up around Wednesday.

6. The monster jump scare in the woods

Wednesday has a traumatic vision of her ancestor Goody Addams (Jenna Ortega) escaping Joseph Crackstone (William Houston), the dogmatic, anti-"outcast" forefather of Jericho, the town where Nevermore Academy is located. Once Wednesday wakes up from the vision, she finds herself in the burnt-out remains of Joseph's attempted eradication of Jericho's outcasts. She looks out through the decrepit slats during a rainstorm, seeing only the trees at first. But when she turns away to talk to Thing (Victor Dorobantu) and looks back, she finds herself staring straight into the gigantic distended eye of the monster.

It's a highly effective jump scare, one of the few in Season 1. One of the reasons it works so well is that Wednesday, along with the viewers, has just returned from a frightening scene. The persecuted people of Jericho trying in vain to escape Crackstone's cruelty is horrifying and heartbreaking, and when Wednesday wakes up from the vision, viewers are expecting a momentary reprieve from the fear. Adding this well-timed jump scare on top of her vision, just when viewers are least expecting it, is a clever and very spooky touch.

5. The creepy Pilgrim altar

Wednesday, her roommate Enid (Emma Myers), and Wednesday's love interest Tyler (Hunter Doohan) are investigating the mystery of the monster at the Gates Estate, the former home of a classmate of Gomez (Luis Guzmán) and Morticia's (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who died under mysterious circumstances. Wednesday finds a secret compartment in the mansion that hides an altar to Joseph Crackstone, complete with ominous words scrawled in red paint, a huge portrait of the evil Pilgrim, and candles that are still warm from whatever ritual was being performed at the altar.

First things first: evil Pilgrims are inherently scary. Add in a deranged altar to said Pilgrim and you have a bonafide creep show. What really pushes this scene into spooky territory, however, is the fact that the candles are still warm. Whoever was conducting rituals at this creepy Pilgrim altar was in the same room as Wednesday and her friends just moments before they arrived. The very idea of it is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, earning the scene a high spot on the spooky list.

4. The dumbwaiter ride

Perhaps even spookier than the creepy Pilgrim altar is what happens soon afterward. Wednesday suggests splitting up to investigate the Gates mansion, which Enid reminds her is a terrible idea: "That is literally how every best friend dies in a horror movie." Proving that Episode 6 is the scariest of Season 1, the two girls do end up splitting up, and when they reunite, they see the shadow of the monster climbing up the stairs. They crawl into a dumbwaiter to hide, but the monster claws at the door to the dumbwaiter, making it seem like they will be monster food at any moment. The rope to the dumbwaiter breaks, though, saving Wednesday and Enid from the monster but plummeting them down into a dank, mysterious basement.

There's only one thing spookier than a creepy old dumbwaiter, and that is a creepy old basement. Wednesday and Enid are running from a huge monster, then they fall inside a rusty tin can not fit for human occupancy, and later find themselves in a cellar full of weird objects that seem connected to the monster and the altar they found. It's like a scarier version of "Scooby-Doo," which earns the dumbwaiter scene a high spot on this spooky ranking.

3. Rowan shows up, mysteriously alive

It has to be said: Rowan is creepy. Even before we learn that he's determined to kill Wednesday in order to save Nevermore, Calum Ross imbues him with a twitchy unpredictability that makes you want to keep Rowan at arm's length. That twitchiness comes into play in a big way when Rowan shows up in the second episode, alive and well after seemingly being killed by the monster in Episode 1.

It's rare to see Wednesday caught off guard, but she was not prepared (nor were the viewers) to see Rowan saunter back into Nevermore after being murdered by a hideous beast. The spooky cherry on top? Rowan gives a twitchy grin that seems to slide all over his face, waving creepily at Wednesday and then giggling to himself, as if his survival is an inside joke that only he understands. It's a small moment in the grand scheme of Season 1, but it's one of the most unsettling scenes in the series thus far.

2. Wednesday discovers the monster's identity

In one of the most touching moments in the season, Wednesday lets her guard down around Tyler once she thinks she's solved the mystery of the monster's identity. When he asks if she wants to be more than friends, she pauses, then steps forward and kisses him. It's a romantic moment, right up until Wednesday has another vision in which she finds out that Tyler is the actual monster who pinned the murders on Wednesday's classmate Xavier (Percy Hynes White). Wednesday sees Tyler covered in blood as he transforms from the hideous monster back into his human form. Terrified, she runs out of the coffee shop where Tyler works and flees for her life.

In typically sardonic Wednesday fashion, she says in voiceover: "Of course, the first boy I kiss would turn out to be a psychotic, serial-killing monster. I guess I have a type." But Wednesday's gallows humor can't cover up the fact that she was alone and vulnerable with a murderous beast who will do anything to conceal his crimes. It's horrifying to consider what could have happened had she not run out of the coffee shop when she did. It's equally frightening to realize that she helped the monster frame Xavier. Her complicity and her vulnerability combine to make this one of the spookiest moments in Season 1.

1. The monster taunts Wednesday

With Xavier still in custody, Wednesday is the only living person who knows that Tyler is really the monster. She tries to tell Sheriff Galpin what she knows, but he refuses to listen to her. The typically shy and sweet Tyler asks to speak to Wednesday just before she storms out of the police station. Suddenly, Tyler isn't so shy and sweet anymore. In true Jekyll and Hyde fashion, he turns from a timid, lovestruck barista to a cold-blooded monster as he describes his murders to Wednesday and tells her how much he enjoyed killing people. Once he's finished describing how "delicious" their fear was and threatens Wednesday — "You have no idea what's coming" — he turns back into his shy, sweet self as he shuffles away from her.

It's a terrific performance from Hunter Doohan, as he completely sells Tyler's chilling transformation into the season's villain. It happens so quickly — just a subtle change in the eyes, a quick slide from one facial expression to another — but it makes a huge difference in how we see Tyler and how much we fear for Wednesday. Like some of the other entries on this list, it's a subtle scare rather than a big dramatic one, but it's incredibly spooky and more than earns its top spot on this list.